Unknown letters from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published in Paris
The previously unpublished correspondence between French writer, poet, reporter and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his muse, artist Consuelo Sunsin-Sandoval, was shown at the exhibition “The Little Prince on the Planet of Men” in Paris.
It is noted that the publishing house “Gallimard” published 170 letters of the writer and artist, accompanied by their drawings by the authors. According to experts, it was in this correspondence that the first draft of the book “The Little Prince” was born.
In a letter written in the fall of 1930 in Buenos Aires, Saint-Exupery described the idea of his work.
“Once upon a time there was a child who found a treasure. But it turned out to be too difficult for the kid, whose eyes could not understand it, and whose hands could not hold it, and as a result, sadness took possession of him, ”he wrote.
The very next year, the writer married Sunsin-Sandoval and devoted most of his time to literature and journalism.
According to the researcher of the work of the writer Alain Virkondel, Saint-Exupery believed that “a writer could not be just a storyteller, he had to be in the center of events.”
So, in 1935, a Frenchman became the only foreigner who boarded the ANT-20 “Maxim Gorky” aircraft. And already in 1936, the writer wrote reports from Madrid about the civil war in Spain. Then Saint-Exupery fought in the front-line aviation, and after the occupation of France, he was demobilized and moved to New York.
His wife had a hard time going through the writer’s decision to return to the French army in 1943. After that, the couple only corresponded and did not see each other again. The widowed Consuelo Sunsin-Sandoval passed away in 1979.
On July 31, 1944, the French writer took off in a twin-engined Lightning aircraft from an air base in Corsica to take photographs, his mission was secret. The plane disappeared in the Marseilles area, and its fragments were recovered from the seabed only in 2003.
Former Luftwaffe pilot Horst Rippert admitted that he shot down the Lightning in the area where Saint-Exupery flew, and also saw the plane crash himself.